Sophie McGown has many hats on in the family business East Haugh Hotel just outside Pitlochry. She mainly concerns herself with the sales & marketing side of the beautiful country house hotel but can turn her hand to anything if need be- she shakes a mean cocktail!
Food, family & friends are the axis around which the rest of her life revolves although the odd cocktail and a good gym sesh and thrown in for measure!
What's your typical working hours?
I have no set hours. I come in and out of the business most days and do different things daily. I also like to work from home so I get a nice balance and let our amazing team get on without me under their feet. (They love me really!)
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
This can depend on the need of the business. I can be re-designing a bedroom to helping the front of house team do breakfast and then shaking up cocktails at night (not for myself I may add!).
When it’s a family business you have been brought up to turn your hand to anything! We have a wonderful General Manager Steven and his fantastic team so I try to let them get on and plough myself into the sales and marketing side things.
What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
I do take most Sundays off and love to cook for myself and boyfriend Richard. Slow braised shoulder of Perthshire lamb is a staple on the East Haugh menu and i try to replicate it as a Sunday meal at home, although it’s usually eaten before any of the veg and potatoes are even ready. I do also love a wee 'fizzy Friday' with my besties!
What makes for a perfect night in?
I love to get a nice bottle of wine, Valpolicella is my total fave, it’s insane how much I love this wine! Me or Richard will cook a Chinese, followed by a good thriller movie and a packet of malteasers. Sometimes I like to shake up a cocktail afterwards for a wee cheeky treat!
What makes for a memorable day or night out?
Memorable would be going to visit my beautiful sister and her wee boys (Archie and Hamish) they are hilarious little munchkins and never fail to make me smile. My sister’s husband is a lawyer but seriously one the most amazing cooks so we always look forward to a delicious dinner there, all washed down it lots of laughs and too much wine (i've just realised there's a theme here-oops!).
Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
My boyfriend Richard took me to Prague a few years ago just before Christmas and it was incredible. The food was some of the best I have ever had, especially the street food, and the whole trip was wonderland. I fell in love even more!
Any workday or weekend rituals?
I go to the gym 4 times a week as if I didn't I would not be able to fit through my door with the amount of food I consume!
What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
Tostada! I had it in Spain and just loved it. Wholemeal bloomer bread, rub garlic on it, slosh on some olive oil and then rub fresh tomatoes on top, salt, pepper! Done! Or a kiss and a cup of tea in bed will also do!
Any words of wisdom for us?
An oldie but a goodie. "If it’s for you it won’t go by you" by Betty Drummond